While there are many benefits of letting your children spend time in the kitchen at a young age, there are certain things to keep in mind. Kitchen safety for kids should be your number one priority when spending time cooking or preparing food. Keep reading as we share seven of the top kitchen safety tips for parents and kids to keep in mind when learning to cook.
1. Handwashing in the Kitchen
The recent pandemic has brought handwashing to everyone’s attention more than ever before. When little ones start to spend time in the kitchen, reinforce the importance of washing their hands before they handle any food. They need to spend at least 20 seconds each time washing their hands with soap and running water. When it comes to safety in the kitchen, this should be repeated upon entering and exiting the kitchen and before handling or eating any food. Make sure you demonstrate to your children how to wash their hands properly so that they learn good handwashing techniques and carry these into every area of their life in the future.
2. Prevent Food Poisoning
When you start to introduce new ingredients to your little ones, make sure you educate them about the risks of food poisoning. While you might think kitchen safety for kids doesn’t need to include this topic, you’ll find that many recipes kids cook include eggs or meat. Make sure you discuss cross-contamination. Don’t reuse utensils that have handled raw meats or eggs and avoid salmonella by discouraging licking the spoon when baking. Kids often get so excited about cooking that they want to taste everything, but ensure nothing they put in their mouths could be harmful to their health.
3. Be Careful Around Heat
If you are cooking with younger children, we recommend you avoid using the oven or stove near them. Kitchen safety fuels for kids are something to keep in mind, but most children will just need to focus on the preparation side of kitchen tasks. As they become more confident, you can start to teach them about how to set the oven temperature and then build up to opening and closing the oven. Make sure you offer them the kitchen safety tools for kids which are needed for these activities, as you don’t want to risk any burns. An adult always needs to be present at all times when cooking with children, as even if someone is experienced or confident, they still have a lot to learn.
4. Wear the Right Clothing
We all know how messy cooking can be, but choosing the right clothing is a critical part of kitchen safety for kids. Make sure you put an apron on your child so that you protect them from splash and spillages, which could also be hot on their skin. You need to wear something you can easily move around in when cooking, so make sure your child can bend over and reach up when needed. We recommend investing in a child-friendly apron, which will be the right size to avoid tripping over. Roll up their sleeves or wear a short-sleeved top where possible so that you don’t have any issues with sleeves dropping into your mixtures.
5. Knife Safety Tips
One of the best investments you’ll make for your child’s cooking sessions is a set of child-friendly tools, such as the ones we offer on our site. When you start teaching your child to use a knife safely, make sure you use a child-friendly one. Don’t give them any of the sharp knives in your kitchen, as these are not suitable for young children at all. Make sure they are sitting or standing properly on a flat surface when they are chopping food so that they don’t risk slipping or cutting themselves. When using a knife, you’ll need your child to give you your full attention. When they are distracted by anything else, there’s a greater chance of them accidentally cutting themselves. Keep your cutting sessions to a short length at the start, and always demonstrate how to use tools with the correct technique.
6. Fire Safety
The biggest danger we face in the kitchen is the risk of fire. Your child needs to be made aware of this issue from their first time cooking so that they know how to react in case of a fire. This is one of the top considerations for safety in the kitchen, but it’s often overlooked when working with children. Show them how they should react to a fire, even if that’s just leaving through the nearest door. As they get older, show them your fire safety equipment, such as a fire extinguisher. They also need to be educated about calling the emergency number for a fire so that if they ever experience one in the future, they know exactly how to react.
7. Keep Surfaces Clean and Clear
Slips and trips are a common issue when it comes to kitchen safety for kids. For that reason, make sure your floors and surfaces are always clean and clear. Spillages are always going to happen in the kitchen, but make sure they are dealt with immediately. You’ll want to mop up spillages quickly so that your child or anyone else who enters the kitchen doesn’t end up on the floor. Also, keep the kitchen counters as clear as possible, as the more distractions that are around, the more likely you’ll have an issue with safety in the kitchen.
Kitchen safety for kids is something you need to keep in mind from your child’s first time in the kitchen. There are so many benefits of introducing your child to cooking at a young age, but you need to ensure this is done in a safe and secure manner. By using a set of child-friendly tools such as the ones on our site, you’ll offer them the equipment that’s needed to have a fun yet safe experience when working with you in the kitchen.